Football is a family affair on the field at Lord Botetourt High School

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Sports have a way of bringing people together.

But for one local family, sports is a part of everything they do.

"I mean I don't think there's ever been a free weekend," said junior Jerry Rice, a kicker for Lord Botetourt High School. "I mean it's always been sports it always kinda revolved around that."

Freshman Hunter Rice and his older brother Jerry Rice play together for Lord Botetourt High School.

Their dad gets to watch every game.

"I've been coaching football for 26 years," said Don Rice.

In all that time, assistant coach Don Rice never coached his own kids.
Until now.

"Spending more time with your kids than, you know, somebody else spending time with them," he said, "it's been a blessing for me."

The boys don't mind playing together.

"It's pretty cool I guess," Hunter Rice said with a chuckle.

But they say being coached by dad is also pretty cool.

"He gives pretty good advice," Hunter said. "If you ever need anything he's always there for you."

Rice describes his coaching style as a mix of old school and new school.

"I think there's a time when you gotta put a foot in somebody's butt and there's a time you have to sit down and be more of a counselor more of you know talking to 'em in person," he said.

Athletics runs in the family. Coach Rice claimed his wife was the first female to score a point in football game each of the Mississippi as kicker on her high school football team. He went on to say his wife played college soccer and earned a place in the school's hall of fame. His daughter, he said, may be the best athlete of the family.

Coach said he treats his kids the same as everyone else's kids.
And expects his players to get more out of football than a win.

"Athletics is just as important as academics as far as teaching them leadership, teaching them responsibility you know teaching them how to treat other people," he said.

"I think both of us it just gives us a confidence that I mean obviously as a dad he's gonna have confidence but as a coach as well he has confidence in us," said Jerry.

That confidence can go a long way in yards and a long way in life.

"Are you proud of your kids?" this reporter asks.

"Oh yea," Coach Rice said immediately, describing how he's proud of their academic achievements and that he'd be proud of their athletic skills even if they weren't as good as they are now.

"Just the way they approach life in their own way," he said. "I'm very proud."